10sBalls.com

TennisBalls • De Minaur, Tiafoe Headline Third Annual NextGen ATP Finals in Milan

By Ricky Dimon

The NextGen ATP Finals will kick off its third installment on Tuesday in Milan, Italy. Eight of the top 21-and-under players in the world will wrap up their 2019 campaigns at this prestigious event. Among them are Alex de Minaur and Frances Tiafoe, who are the top seeds in their respective round-robin groups.

Saturday’s draw ceremony produced the following:

Group A
Alex de Minaur
Casper Ruud
Miomir Kecmanovic
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

Group B
Frances Tiafoe
Ugo Humbert
Mikael Ymer
Jannik Sinner

“It’s a tough draw; both groups are equally good,” Kecmanovic assessed. “Everybody is playing well and have had the best years of their careers, so it’s going to be tough.”

“The draw speaks for itself,” Ymer added. “It’s all of the best players our age, so it’s going to be a big challenge.”

All of the best young players is a bit of a stretch. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov would have been the top two seeds in Milan, but Tsitsipas is out due to Nitto ATP Finals qualification and Shapovalov withdrew citing fatigue. The 28th-ranked Canadian recently captured his first career ATP title in Stockholm and just finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the Paris Masters.

Group B features players in especially strong form. Humbert and Sinner both reached the Antwerp semifinals last month and Sinner got there by beating Tiafoe in the quarters. Ymer has captured four Challenger titles this year, including two in back-to-back weeks during the month of September.

Predictions

Semifinals: De Minaur over Sinner and Humbert over Kecmanovic

Final: De Minaur over Humbert

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *